Etymology of business and the word busyness: "lively but meaningless"

The online etymology dictionary states that the origins of the word "business" are:

O.E. bisignisse (Northumbrian) "care, anxiety," from bisig "careful, anxious, busy, occupied" (see busy) + -ness. Sense of "work, occupation" is first recorded 1387. Sense of "trade, commercial engagements" is first attested 1727. Modern two-syllable pronunciation is 17c. Business card first attested 1840.

(Side note: I had no idea what Northumbrian meant, so here is the wiki)

I used the word busyness in my previous post. I thought I had made it up, but dictionary.com said I didn't. Their definition:

"1. the quality or condition of being busy.
2. lively but meaningless activity."

Bearing in mind the two words are effectively the same, I thought the second was a particularily amusing definition. Almost all of us work, have worked, or will work in a business, and to think of it as "lively but meaningless activity" seems to peg American corporate life almost exactly.